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Distracted

Dr Arthur Janov - The real meaning of LSD

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On the Real Meaning of LSD and Hallucinogens

There is an article, I believe, from the recent New Yorker about someone who took Acid (LSD) in the seventies and wonders what happened to the youth of today who prefer the shutting down drugs such as Prozac versus the opening up drugs such as Acid. He claims that society no longer wants to take risks, preferring to keep it safe. He believes that our choice of drugs is indicative of the general zeitgeist, reflecting the world we live in. In the early years (the 70’s) we craved freedom; now we crave security. He seems to be nostalgic for those old Acid days. And doesn’t discuss their dangers enough; and I believe it is one of the most dangerous drugs around. What does it do?

Grosso modo, it immediately depletes serotonin and other Gaba chemicals('he later posted on the website as a reply that this sentence is wrong and should have been edited out before being published' - Distracted), and diminishes the work of the gates, thus allowing all kinds of pain on all levels from surging ensemble toward the prefrontal cortex. Gamma amino butyric acid is a repressor holding down pain and blocking against feeling hurt. What Acid does is disrupt gating and allow us to feel our pain…..but all at once. Since that constitutes an overload, the exact feelings are blocked or disconnected but their energy level gets through to higher centers. And what do those higher centers do? They absorb all that force and begin the cognitive defense against it. They do what any person does when overloaded with imprinted pain; they manufacture far-out, bizarre ideas to encapsulate the force. This is true with LSD and in everyday life. That is why LSD is sometimes called a psychotomimetic. The ideas are far out because they are forced by a heavy load into concocting something. And the leitmotif of the feeling, the feeling of feeling, gets through so that the content of the hallucination somehow reflects what the person is dealing with. Someone is trying to kill me (death is near). Or they feel a cosmic oneness with the universe, which seems like an hallucination to me. Since what the person is thinking is idiosyncratic solely to her. And what helps eradicate the hallucination it for the moment is a tranquilizer/pain-killer. It is so easy to see the connection between pain and hallucinations since pain-killers stop those beliefs in their tracks.

The frontal cortex is the last refuge of defense; going psychotic to keep from becoming insane. Absorbing heavy energy with beliefs before they can affect the heart to produce a fatal cardiac arrest. It is not the drug that makes hallucinations; it is the pain that has no specific context that drives the higher levels to become exotic. There is a context but it is usually a very early imprint with no specific scene attached. Its force, however, is preverbal with life-threatening consequences. There is no specific scene for the cortex to hang onto.

If at first you had a good trip, it is because you have a good enough defense system to allow only some of the pain through….like smoking pot. But you will have a bad trip when first line terrors and rage surge through to produce the equivalent of a nightmare. And indeed, the trip is a nightmare. Daymares are nightmares with the sunlight. Otherwise, no difference. Terror is terror, day and night. The physiology does not change when the sun goes down. It bursts through unchecked because beliefs which work in see-saw fashion with imprinted feelings, are not strong enough to hold them down. Then you make no sense. These neural gates are not Huxley’s ‘Doors to Perception; on the contrary they block perception in specific ways and allow only global perceptions”; so-called Universal Truths. You are never “one with yourself or with the cosmos.” You mind has flown into pieces and you can only recapture pieces of yourself. You feel liberated because the lid of the repressive load has been temporarily lifted. It is primal therapy on speed. Instead of getting to one feeling at a time and integrating it; you get to all at once and it is really too much. But you do not have enough critical faculties left to understand what is happening. We did LSD research decades ago and found the brain very speeded up but with low amplitude which means to us the breakdown of defenses. We see on patients on the verge of deep non-verbal feeling that defenses mount with the heightening of the amplitude. When they crash, so does the amplitude. And after some ten trips the effects last for years; trouble sleeping, needing tranquilizers, cannot concentrate and unstable behavior, in general. That is the danger of rebirthing and drugs that prematurely unleash early pains out of sequence. You can and do often get hallucinations; “at one with the cosmos,” etc. I have seen it over and over in those who take drugs, smoke pot all of the time, or go to rebirthing centers. They come to us overloaded and seemingly “in space.” They are not all there. When a booga booga therapist thinks this is a good response to his therapy, watch out. When his beliefs merge with the patient all is lost. When the therapist thinks that “at one with the universe” is to be fervently sought they are both hallucinating.

Integration is the sine qua non of progress in psychotherapy. Nothing artificial can make that happen. It is a biologic law; not to be abrogated because someone has invented a quick way to ourselves. To defy biologic laws is to contravene nature and natural law. To bypass nature means not to get well, for it is only through nature that we can be cured. We need to go at nature’s pace, follow the rhythm of the evolution and not hurry the process up. The human brain is a delicate instrument. We need to play it carefully.

LSD has been used for treating depression. What it does is ease the cap of repression and thereby easing depression, which, as I have said over and over, depression is repression elevated to a high level. One no longer feels the specific feelings; they are usually preverbal and heavy valence so that they cannot be accessed easily.

The writer in the article (Marc Lewis) went from LSD to heroin. No surprise since the gates had been flung open by LSD and needed closing. What better way than through a powerful painkiller. If he did our therapy he would not need heroin. He would have felt the pain in all its agony one piece at a time. LSD shows us nothing except how it feels not to repress pain for a brief moment. That is good. Getting there through drugs is definitely not good. Doing the artificial can never produce natural responses. And it is always nature we are after. We are after inner harmony, and only nature can provide it.

http://cigognenews.b...of-lsd-and.html

This is an interesting way of thinking, a kind of thinking I don't think many of the people in circles we know would agree with. It seems heavily based on his belief of Primal Therapy so i'm trying to understand more about his Primal Therapy theories to better understand what he's talking about in this blog.

Anyone else know about Primal Therapy and can shed some light on the topics discussed in this article?

:D

Edited by Distracted

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i wonder why the misconception that pain killers or tranquilizers detrimentaly interupt the psychedelic experience persists, i have heard of few people using various perscriptions' as a safety net for their session and then when the session inevitable becomes overwhealming due to their percieved need for a safety net it turns out the diazepam or what have you doesn't effectively normalise them, leading to more problems.

i think this guy has a few misconcieved ideas, and i would be interested in reading 'article x' that he keeps reffering, as that sounds somewhat informative (the first paragraph he uses as an example is particularly interesting*, relating to the global preference in chemical induced 'highs' shifting with the zeitgeist)

edit: *interesting because i don't really agree and would be interested to read his reference

Edited by dionysus

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The weak low - dose blotter of today is a poor substitute . I will forever remain grateful for having had the opportunity for access to the microdot acid of the 1970s . The tragedy of LSD is its suppression by people who have never taken it , exerting their will and influence over others . Those who have never taken it cannot comprehend this miraculous substance , no matter what they believe ; but for them to deny access to others is just so wrong .

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I do not know primal therapy, and for me, the best therapy is somatic experiencing. He makes a mistake by saying "Integration is the sine qua non". The key is not integration, but a come back to neutral emotions about a trauma. You do not forget, it is neutral when you think about it. And this is not integration, this is a cleaning of the autonomous nervous system, it is a "cleaning of pipes", so that energy / neurotransmitters circulates fluently in the nerves. A trauma is as atherosclerosis or phlebitis in the veins!

Then, he is right when he talks about going slowly in the process.

When I practice some simple exercises from somatic experiencing, then I also experience to "be one". The difference with a drug is that I have to make an effort, it does not come by itself!

Then he is right about the "gate". Our body has gates on the road to the brain, so that one/few pain be felt. That is why you ease mosquito bites for a moment by scratching ! Since I know this, I just scratch around and leave the spot alone, it works equally...

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i don't disagree with everything he says, just most of the stuff about acid. maybe it isn't appropriate for psychotherapy. that's not mine to discuss. i specifically, (mainly) trip to fuel the fire of "far-out, bizarre ideas", which were already a pretty solid framework before dropping, i don't think any of those ideas have been manufactured so much as refined during trips.

if there is a flood of pain, which i dispute, who says it is all bereft of context? i experience enhanced back pain, it assuredly does not melt into a faceless barrage. mostly things remain in their category of 'to be sought' or 'to be avoided'.

i think we can safely ignore this article, after all, he opens with a explanation of the neuro chemistry which he discards soon after publishing? the author is pushing his own barrow, which is a brand of therapy that funds his existence.

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The tragedy of LSD is its suppression by people who have never taken it , exerting their will and influence over others . Those who have never taken it cannot comprehend this miraculous substance , no matter what they believe ; but for them to deny access to others is just so wrong .

I remember reading somewhere (possibly this site) a good analogy.

Just say you need a house built. Would you pay a builder with experience or just any one??

Why do those who make the drug laws have no experience with drugs? Surely someone who has used drugs would have a better understanding of their impacts and effects.

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"Doing the artificial can never produce natural responses. And it is always nature we are after. We are after inner harmony, and only nature can provide it."

so take magic mushrooms but not lsd...

so much ignorance...

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I see a lot of controversial claims and no evidence. Unsubstantiated and dubious speculation presented as fact always sets off alarm bells for me (except when i do it of course).

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"The Primal Scream" is a hypothesis of some worth, it certainly explains why the drug-free West has had (quote) "bumper crops of neurotics since the Industrial Revolution".

It's revelations convinced me to rear my children with unlimited, unconditional love and constant physical skin-to-skin contact as infants. Teenage depression is unknown to them, never having experienced the "Split", they don't do drugs (lonely for me!), are professionals (bank manager, engineer, musician), beautiful and empathic. And I owe it all to reading Janov!

The Primal Theory of Drug Addiction and Primal Pain is elucidating - but very old fashioned! Remembering that Janov "accidentally" conceived the theory and none of the "dangerous" drugs he was aware of back then were actually designed for human use.

What wonders would have been if Janov and Shulgin had got together! Much like what horrors would have happened if Hitler had read Sun Tzu!

The Primal Scream of Janov is identical to Ego Annihilation - and just as dangerous - more so, as Reality Testing was unknown to Janov who considered everyone neurotic, but with good defense mechanisms. He agreed the full blown psychotic reaction was as useful as an epileptic fit to discharge neurosis - it is just that without Love and Spirit, he couldn't pick up the pieces for you afterward.

The theory is excellent in pediatrics but offers little once the damage is done. Historical theory at best.

Love to all now!

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Oh - PS - Janov agreed it is only the damaged ego that has adverse drug reactions - a well adjusted, balanced individual has nothing to fear, but nothing to gain, in their use. It is just that on the end of 150 mikes of Electric Blue is a bastard of a way to find out if you're free of neurosis - which isn't likely!

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"Doing the artificial can never produce natural responses. And it is always nature we are after. We are after inner harmony, and only nature can provide it."

so take magic mushrooms but not lsd...

so much ignorance...

There are those who would disagree , which of course , is their right ; and most certainly not in ignorance .

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Bit of a dumb and closed minded article.

Primal screaming may in fact be a decent sort of therapy however.

Best primal screaming I have ever done is on 1000 mics ! B)

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